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Ignition coils moved to front

I just bought a 2003 Discovery in which the ignition coils have been moved to the front of the engine. The bad news is my local Rover mechanic won't touch the electrical system without first replacing the wiring harness (which was hacked into apparently). Check engine light is on and it is throwing codes indicating a fault with the camshaft position sensor and air flow.

The shop's position is it's useless to diagnose the emissions system issues without replacing the wiring harness. Since I must pass emissions to register in my county, I am stuck. I can't use the Rover guy -- he is setting me up for major $$$ -- $1,500 to replace the harness, THEN we'll see about the other stuff...

Alternatives are to find another mechanic -- likely less versed in Rovers -- or unload it to someone who doesn't have to pass emissions to register.

Engine and transmission seem strong, no leaks or overheating, rides well, body is very good. But am I opening a can of worms getting someone to tinker with the camshaft and air flow system sensors while it has this modified ignition coil / wiring harness set-up?

Is it advisable to seek out auto electrical tech? Anybody ever seen an ignition coil modification like this? It would be good to figure out if the wiring harness is really an issue or just something the first mechanic doesn't want to mess with.
 

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disco biscuit
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The coils on these vehicles are notoriously hard to reach if something needs to be done. Many talk about moving them. I thought about it but never really had a need to yet. Your situation really depends on how well the harness is hacked into. It seems you are wanting to have someone work on the thing for ya and bad news is these vehicles are somewhat harder to keep if that's the case. Either you need to verify the harness isn't the issue and then move on diagnosing the codes/problem yourself. Or find someone willing to do it for you....$$$. As for the codes. Sounds most like the cps and the maf need a look over...my problem with this scenario is the cps usually doesn't code out unless its really shot and that along with the MAF problem means your rover should be running like ****. If it is running like crap it seems you need to replace these parts...maybe one at a time clear codes and see if they retrigger. You should get ready to work on this thing yourself, find a rover specialist that will work with you or sounds like your best option might be to sell it.
 

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I don't mind doing some work myself and paying for some work when its beyond my abiliity -- this is actually the fourth Rover i've had after a long hiatus (88 & 95 RR's, 99 Disco II). But the specialist turning his nose up on it has me worried. As you said, the faults would suggest it should be running poorly but it seems to run OK to my ears.

So the question is, how to figure out if the harness is the root issue. I can turn wrenches but electrical is another matter. Any suggestions on tests or how to know if another mechanic is qualified on the electrical diagnostics?
 

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But the specialist turning his nose up on it has me worried.
Just a suggestion, having many years experience in a motorcycle service department, if something came in that looked to be completely re-rigged, we'd only accept those on a case by case basis. This is particularly true at Authorized Dealerships. You never know when you're opening a can of worms on something like that, the technician and dealership risks taking responsibility (which can be very costly) for any and all related issues that occur after that vehicle leaves the parking lot if the do.

If someone brought a motorcycle into my dealership with a spliced harness, and is having electrical issues, I'd be very careful about whether or not to accept that job. Electrical issues can take an extenisve amount of time to trace on a factory wiring harness, but when you start working on something that may have different colored wires, etc. you have no idea how difficult that may be.

So, what I'm saying is, you have to look at it from the tech and dealer point of view. They weren't necesarily turning up their nose, but protecting themselves from a potential disaster. This policy is put into place after such disasters have already happened, some ending up in court.
 

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Replace the harness

On another note, there's a very good possibility that replacing the harness, will actually save you a great amount of time and money trying to trace an issue with one that has been spliced. The amount of money spent on labor alone could well exceed the cost of a having a new harness installed.
 

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Fix it yourself or sell it for peanuts. Those are the only real options open to you.

I suggest you repair the harness and try and figure it out yourself. It's just a DII and tech help is just a forum away. As long as it still runs and drives you will still be able to sell it so what do you have to loose?
 
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